Sunday, 11 December 2011

Ph.D. fellowship: Society and Politics of Contemporary China

Ph.D. fellowship: Society and Politics of Contemporary China (11-247)

Faculty of Humanities

Institute for Area Studies

Ph.D. fellowship: Society and Politics of Contemporary China
(38 hours a week)
Vacancy number: 11-247
The Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), is committed to the integration of disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives. LIAS has as its aim the advancement of teaching and research of Area Studies at Leiden University and in the wider academic community. LIAS comprises the Schools of Asian Studies (SAS) and Middle Eastern Studies (SMES). Area specializations in SAS include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South & Southeast Asian and Tibetan Studies. LIAS staff have disciplinary expertise across the humanities and the social sciences.
Starting September 2012 (or earlier if the candidate is available) LIAS has available one full-time, four-year Ph.D. position  in the University’s profile area “Asian Modernities and Traditions” (AMT) on an aspect of the society or politics of contemporary China. The fellowship is funded by the Leiden University Executive Board on the appointment of Professor Frank Pieke as Chair of Modern China Studies.

Description of profile area:

AMT is one of the 11 profile areas of Leiden University that transcend the boundaries between specialist fields. AMT is coordinated by the Faculty of Humanities and the Leiden Institute for Area Studies, but is fully interdisciplinary in focus. AMT’s aim is to raise the visibility and strength of Asian studies in the University, where “Asia” includes all of East, Central, South and Southeast Asia. AMT builds on the long history of Leiden University in research and teaching on Asian traditions, especially in the fields of religious studies, anthropology, philology, law and literature, to explore the debates, disagreements, disjunctures and conflicts that prevail in Asia in the modern age. The global prominence of East Asia and the rapidly developing economies of South and Southeast Asia render Asia a key case for the study of the fashioning of modernities in everyday life, state practices and the global arena. AMT focuses on five themes:
  • Asia in the international system looks at global Asia, where the emergence of India and China as regional hegemons is reconfiguring issues of security and conflict
  • Power and limits of the Asian state focuses on the transformation of and challenges posed to the state in Asia
  • Asian debates on history and modernity explores Asia’s role in shaping the meaning of rationalism, nationalism, secularism, equality, justice and rights
  • New and old  diversities  in Asia  looks at how Asia’s new modernities are being forged from the meeting of peoples, cultures, life-styles and ideologies
  • Production and flow of modern Asian cultures encompasses the movement of  practices, styles, objects, fashions, media and the like that have come to exemplify the modern in particular places


The Ph.D. fellow is expected to conduct research leading to a Ph.D. thesis under the supervision of Professor Pieke on a topic that includes, but is not limited to, administrative reform, public policy, state-society relations, international or domestic migration, ethnicity, gender, kinship, ritual, religion, life styles, social structure and social stratification, consumption and popular culture, poverty and poverty alleviation. The project will have to be firmly embedded in a relevant discipline in the social sciences or humanities, such as anthropology, political science, sociology, history or sinology. Research ought to have a strong fieldwork component and should include the use of modern spoken and written Chinese.
Tasks of the Ph.D. will include: 
  • Conducting original research on a relevant topic
  • Writing a Ph.D. dissertation
  • Submitting research results for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals
  • Presenting papers at (international) conferences
  • Designing and teaching at least two undergraduate courses, normally one in the third and one in the fourth year of the appointment
  • Organizing and participating in seminars and conferences of the AMT profile area


  • A Masters or equivalent degree in a relevant field
  • Research knowledge of modern Chinese
  • Fluency in English (spoken and written)
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

We offer:

The position of Ph.D. fellow is temporary for maximally four years of full-time appointment, and with an initial nine-month probationary period. The salary is determined in accordance with the current scales as set out in the collective labor agreement for the Dutch universities (CAO): min. € 2.042,- max. € 2.612,- gross per month, with additional holiday and end-of-year bonuses.


For further information about the position please contact Professor Frank Pieke phone number             +31-71-5272216      , email A full overview of the AMT profile area is available at


Applications have to be submitted in English and have to include:
  • cover letter stating your motivation for the position
  • research proposal of maximally 2,500 words
  • curriculum vitae
  • copies of your academic transcripts (or Dutch cijferlijst),
  • a writing sample (such as a part of the MA thesis) of maximally 8,000 words
  • three letters of reference to be sent directly by the referee
Please send your application electronically, indicating the vacancy number, before thedeadline of 15 January 2012 to:
All application materials should be send in pdf format.
An interview may be part of the selection procedure.
Publication date: November 21st, 2011

No comments: